Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Potential use of secondary poison to control feral cat on islands

Dowding, J. E., Murphy, E. C., & Veitch, C. R. (1999). Brodifacoum residues in target and non-target species following an aerial poisoning operation on Motuihe Island, Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 23(2), 207-214.

Aerial poisoning using Talon® 7-20 baits (active ingredient 20 ppm brodifacoum) was carried out on Motuihe Island, Hauraki Gulf, during the winter of 1997. The operation aimed to eradicate Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) and house mice (Mus musculus) and to reduce rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) numbers significantly. We studied the diet of feral house cats (Felis catus) before the operation, then monitored the impact of the operation on them to determine whether secondary brodifacoum poisoning caused a reduction in their numbers. Large numbers of rabbits remained after poisoning; this and other observations suggested that insufficient bait had been applied to achieve the aims of the programme. Cat mortality, based on radio-collared animals, was 3/14 (21%). Cats on Motuihe Island appeared to eat rabbit muscle tissue in preference to internal organs; brodifacoum concentrations are lower in muscle than in liver and we suggest that rabbits may be a poorer vector than rodents for secondary poisoning of cats. We also confirmed the risk of an aerial brodifacoum application to a range of non-target bird species. Mortality of pukeko (Porphyrio p. melanotus) and paradise shelducks (Tadorna variegata) was 49% and 60% , respectively. No mortality of New Zealand dotterels (Charadrius obscurus) or variable oystercatchers (Haematopus unicolor) was detected. Twenty-nine individuals of 10 bird species (five indigenous and five introduced) were found dead after the operation and livers of all of them contained residues of brodifacoum; toxin levels averaged 0.84 µg g-1 (range 0.12-2.31 µg g-1).

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